The two leaderships of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila and his Deputy, Idris Wase, on Wednesday, May 24 had a verbal clash against each other over a scheduled event for Thursday.
The two leaders of the House had a face-off over the announcement by the Speaker, Gbajabiamila that the Order Paper for Thursday be made lighter to allow members attend the official Commissioning of the permanent site of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies(NILDS).
Overtnews reports that before adjourning the plenary, the Speaker announced the NILDS permanent site along Airport Road will be commissioned by 3.00pm on Thursday by President Muhammadu Buhari and asked the Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business to ensure that the order paper should be lighter with the days (Thursday) business so that the House can adjourn early enough for the event.
But, in reaction to the request made by the Speaker, his Deputy, Wase objected saying the primary business of the House was lawmaking and other official businesses, adding that the commissioning of NILDS headquarters was not important to adjourn the House.
To this, Wase said members willing to attend the commission could do so to avoid disruption of ongoing proceedings in the House.
But the Speaker said: “DS (Deputy Speaker), may be the importance of NILDS is not clear to you like it is to some of us. We are not adjourning the House for members to attend the commissioning. I said the order paper should be made lighter because I will attend the commissioning.
But Wase fired back saying “Mr. Speaker, the House is not about I, but us”.
Gbajabiamila ignored his Deputy to make another announcement before returning to address him saying “DS, I have been in this House like ng enough to know that this is the first time in the history of this House that a Deputy Speaker will openly oppose what the Speaker says.”
Turning to the Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Business, Gbajabiamila said: “make the order paper light for tomorrow. This House will adjourn at 2.00pm” while members present at plenary chorused Carried.
It is believed that Wednesday’s incident in the House was buoyed by the endorsement of Hon. Tajudeen Abbas as Speaker of the 10th House which has created somewhat a division between the Speaker and his Deputy.
A move by the 63 members-elect from the opposition parties could perceived by Wase as a betrayal
This newspaper reported that the 63 members-elect under the umbrella of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) had openly declared their support for Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu, for the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively.